Photo to the right: Bronco teams get ready for their first practice on Aug. 24.
With the Bronco men's and women's cross country teams set to open their season on Sept. 1 at USF, the Santa Clara team's opened the 2012 preseason camp with its first official practice Friday morning – but it isn't the first miles any of them have run this summer. In addition, it was announced this week that junior Ben Demaree, who finished 13th at the West Coast Conference Championship last season – the top non-Portland-BYU runner – has been named to the WCC Preseason All-WCC team.
Bronco head coach Felipe Montoro talked earlier this week about what the team has been doing this summer, early season race plans and how the team bonds throughout the preseason.
SCU: It's a nice honor for Ben Demaree to be named to the All-WCC preseason team. He is a fantastic student as well, carrying a 3.88 GPA in Bio-Engineering.
FM: It's nice that other WCC coaches recognized his great season last year and hopefully he can follow it up with even better results this year. His training has been going well this summer. He is a very good student, like so many of our student-athletes on both teams. Click here for academic release.
As far as the team rankings for both sides (both Bronco teams were picked middle of the pack), they seem appropriate for the preseason. But we are looking forward to improving on those predictions during the West Coast Conference Championship later this season. The WCC should have a number of nationally ranked teams again this year on both sides.
SCU: Your first official practice is today – Fri., Aug. 24. What is your schedule like the next couple of weeks as far as competition? Click here for the 2012 schedule.
FM: Sept. 1 is the first meet at USF in Golden Gate Park and then we will run at Sac State, the Hornet Invite, on Sept. 8. We will run most of our freshmen and some of the returners those two meets. It's always a good way to start the season – USF and Sac State always put on great meets. I expect we will run everyone that's healthy at the WCC Preview meet in Portland on Sept. 15. Click here for the 2012 roster.
SCU: While your camp opens Friday, just about everyone has been logging literally hundreds of miles this summer. Talk about their training they on their own.
FM: They all trained a lot this summer. It's probably the best summer we have ever had, volume-wise, which is encouraging. Now we are looking to assimilate the new athletes we have and start our build-up to the post-season.
SCU: What kind of mileage do they run typically ever week in the summer?
FM: In the summer, it is really varied as far as mileage and where they are in their development. More experienced runners were running well over 100 miles a week and others were running 50-60 miles a week. It's done a very individual basis. Those that are doing lower volume running usually do a lot of cross training – in the pool, elliptical, or the bike.
SCU: Impressive – 100 miles in a week?! Now that you are back it full-time, what will the schedule include the next few weeks in regards to training?
FM: In the next week – first full week we are all together - we will run six mornings a week at 9 am. Some days will be a workout (tempo run or intervals) and another day might be a long run up to two hours. We are in really good shape and I am really pleased with the work that they have done heading into preseason.
The higher volume athletes will run in the afternoons on their own as well.
SCU: What types of bonding do you in the preseason? Any special trips planned?
FM: We will be going on our annual camping trip at New Brighton State Beach Sept. 3-5 over Labor Day weekend.
It's a good chance to bond and get away from everything; and opportunity to acclimate our newcomers and get in some great training. It's also beautiful up there and Nicene Marks State Park is a great place to train. It's a redwood forest a bit inland and it's great. There are hundreds of miles of creeks and trails. You almost feel better running in there after because it's so nice. Perfect weather. Nice soft trails. And it's only 30 miles away.
We cook out a lot and go out to eat one night. We do skits by class. It's really terrific. A bon-fire every night. The team really enjoys it.
SCU: Pete Cushman, the new assistant coach with the Broncos, is also with the team now. Thoughts?
FM: We are all excited about having Pete here with us. It will be nice to have him here now on a regular basis. I can't say enough about what he will be able to bring to the team and he will really help us out.